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Archive for June 2011

Soup’s on at Song Long in Roselawn. (Lunchbunch. June 21, 2011. flebob)

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Vietnam's "Pho" (pronounced "fuh") soup. It begins with beef broth and flat rice noodles, then comes the kitchen sink: mine with tripe and a whole lot of pepper. Bob had "Bun Bo Hue" soup featuring lemongrass, beef broth and sliced beef with a whole lot of hot pepper. Both of us love spice foods. Both of our appetites for spicy were satisfied at Song Long. (Cincinnati OH. flephoto. 110621)

A good morning, some delicious hot soup and these satisfied customers can finally relax, bellying up to the bar at Song Long in Roselawn. (Cincinnati OH. flephoto 110621)

 

I never thought I'd see the day when the likes of this picture would strike me quicker, harder and deeper than those beloved calendar girls I used to sooo enjoy on the back walls of serve stations. Must be senility, eh, Bob? (Cincinnati OH. flephoto 110621)

 

If you ride your mechanical mount to Song Long's, I suggest rear door entrance and exit for blood pressure's sake. (flephoto. Cincinnati OH. 110621)

 

 

Written by frankieleeee

June 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

Sankalp: is it an aging palate filled with fictitious fantasies and falsehoods of Indian cuisine? Or am I breaking the chains which bind me to southern comfort grub for lost these 3 score and 8 years? (June 14, 2011. Lunchbunch. Sharonville OH)

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Where would strip malls be without the flow of restaurants through their doors, giving us an excellent bootcamp for us cuisine critic wannabes.

Fantasy is the cement that bonds my years, one at a time, one upon the other upon the next! Upon building blocks supplied by a neverending supply of The There is a new mecca for Indian and Chinese food in Sharonville on the road to lalaland which ye shall call West Chester.

Over yonder in that corner is New Krishna Indian Cuisine with its goat curry, Indian carrot cake; The House of Sun preening like a teenaged prom queen down the block here with its silly grin that bespeaks of its delicious duck dishes and more.

And the new one I’m sitting in as I pen its praises under the watchful, but steely, staffers gaze upon this paper. Sankalp. Sankalp! My computer translation program tells me sankalp, in Hindi, means “resolution.” It’s an international Indian chain restaurant touted in the Enquirer sending the Lunchbunch scurrying to discover for itself, claiming 80 restaurants worldwide.

As usual, our resident food cynic Bob feared it would be a waste of dollars and time and palate. It took less than half a dozen taste tests for his mind to be put at ease. “Excellent,” was his comment made between hearty bites. Matter of fact when all was said and done, not a single one of us disagreed with that assessment.

But, mommy, what IS it? Hey, sir, gotta minute to give us yet another breakdown on all this yummy food? Sir? Damn, did you see the speed of that guy sprinting out the door and across the parking lot?

Chrome and glass (plastic) like an Indian diner.

On a warming table in the third world (apart?) was the unadvertised meat: chicken curry and tandoori chicken. Almost as if their chefs are also meat-trained.

Modern decor inside although not quite roomy enough for the particular needs of my steel and plastic steed Junior, Jr. But spotless, perhaps a bit too clean. Until we dug into the grub.

Sauces, soups and salads.

There was nothing I tasted that was not 9 or higher on the yummy scale. First time for me.

The fact that they had a luncheon buffet was a pleasant surprise so’s we could nibble on a wide variety of food instead of paying out the nose for adult portions of each of the unknowns.

House of Sun; ask for the "other" menu for genuine Chinese choices.

Now if I could only learn to connect the name of the dishes to the taste of the dishes. I’ve been working on that for years.

Since we were three doors down from the best Chinese restaurant in greater Cincinnati, Bob and I went down to House of Sun to pick up a “pig ears” takeout.  Thinly sliced pig ears mixed with shredded carrots! Delicious. House of Sun has two menus: one for Americanized Chinese dishes and the other for genuine Chinese dishes such as the pig ears.

Plaudits from Cincinnati's alternative newspaper, City Beat! Since this article was written in 2009, House of Sun has been made accessible to Junior, Jr, and other helpful purveyors of people.

I had phoned the order in from Sankalp and received a heart “okay”. When Bob got there, the cashier kind of shuddered and assured Bob (and later, me) there was no such dish in the house – guess pig ears is not a snack of choice for all Chinese. Reading the genuine Chinese menu to her and called for help from a nearby server saved the day and we left with all our goodies. My with my pig ears; Bob with his mango juice fresh from the Indian market on the “other” side of Sankalp.

Thence to the Sharonville branch of the Cincinnati Library and some tough games of Scrabble. Bob and I each won 2 out of 3; CB and Willie each won 1 out of three.

Willie won’t be here next week; her son has a wedding to be in in this summer sun. Congratulations to the groom and bride and wishes that Willie and John won’t be completely overwhelmed by that doggoned empty nest syndrome.

Written by frankieleeee

June 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Lunchbunch

‘Twas many and many a year ago – 50 to be almost precise – since Dwight Norman handed out diplomas to 130-something of the best his school could do to prepare us for the vicious wilderness awaiting us. (Wed, Jun 8, 2011. The road through E. W. Grove High School matriculation in Paris, Henry County TN)

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And here are all there were that night at Lee School. Good looking group, boys and girls.

Ninety-five degrees and half a gazillion traffic stoppages to wait for the slowpokes to work on the interstates between Cincinnati and here (Paris, TN). Didn’t see no guns, though, but we also didn’t see no steaming fried catfish waiting for us. The new iPhone MapQuest GPS worked fine.

Construction everywhere. Must be Obama's dollars puttin' us poh folks to work. Stutter step. Barring theft and more graft than is common, I suspect it's working. I also suspect being held up for half an hour at a time in 95 degree weather if a treat most of us would rather skip, like this one in the mini-mountains between Cincinnati and Louisville. Damn, it was hot! But the music was fine as wine. (Wednesday, May 8, 2011. flephoto)

The people (CB and I) got by. Here we are.

Then came Thursday, May 9th. Whenever I come to town, my brother Ronald and I try to get together for one of our driving expeditions through the lines and mines and, yes, sometimes-minefields of our youth. Yesterday was good. He knocks on the motel door with gifts of sausage and tomato biscuits for CB and me, then packs me off on the westward trail toward the lake (Kentucky Lake) on a quest for a cemetery donated to the family by our great-great-grandfather Newt Moody. I thought I remembered from one of our trips a few years ago. And Bingo! there it was, right there in the morning breeze off the lake just where I had seen it in my mind!

Crashing through seldom-used gravel roads to find a tiny cemetery in the middle of the woods on the banks of Kentucky Lake (post office probably is Buchanan TN), we first almost crashed into this snapping turtle (leastwise that's what Ron said it was) making a getaway at max speed. (Ron Moody photo. 20110609)

One stone to remind us of our relatives buried in this tiny cemetery on a remote hilltop (well, it USED to be remote, anyhow) overlooking Kentucky Lake. (RonMoodyPhoto. 20110609)

And I, the trained bloodhound of the Moody family, led us straight to the grave with no wrong turns, no stops and starts, no second-guessing. Guess I'm pretty good, after all, eh? Mebbe I did learn a little from LBJ's beagles, after all. (RonMoodyPhoto. Buchanan TN. 20110609)

The roadside scenery out by Buchanan. These two seem to be seeking some privacy so they can cuddle out of the boiling sun. (fleflick. 20110609. Buchanan TN)

Shelter from a sunstorm, the only cool place for miles around, perhaps, in which to sweat and strain. (flepick. 20110609. Buchanan TN)

Wouldn't take much to "bring the house down," would it? I love old barns; sometimes they look like this, like they could be pushed over by a gentle breeze, for years. Sturdy. (fleflick. 20110609. Buchanan TN)

Henry County (TN) weeds! (fleflick. 20110609. Buchanan TN)

Our parents' (Connie Taylor Moody & Ruby Gordon Sutton Moody) gravestone in the Puryear (TN) City Cemetery. Near where both Ronald and I were born. (fleflick. 20110609. Buchanan TN)

Paris, Tennessee, home of The World's Biggest Fish Fry, of which I was named "King of the Catfish" in 1963. How's about that? eh?

Today (Friday) begins the celebration of E. W. Grove High School’s Class of 1961 50th anniversary. More later.

It is now later:

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50th reunion. part II, tomorrow.

There ye have Part II pics. Scene of the crime was Robert E. Lee School where I went from the middle of 4th grade (when they let me to into a real classroom after a year and a half of  Miss Mary Margaret Richardson driving to my house for my lessons) to the middle of 6th grade (when Memphis called me for a spinal fusion and a nearly 16 month stay).

I’d like to think I was the first Safety Patrol Person on crutches. Right there. At Lee School.

Regardless of what the real world thinks, in my mind’s eye, Lee was the same school I knew as a kid. The music room. Miss Charlie’s office. The lunchroom. Didn’t get to check out the fire escape, but that would have been a hoot to see how many of us could see how quickly we could flee from danger and get to the ground to safety first.

I’m trying to remember my teachers at Lee: Miz Cravens in 4th grade; Mrs. Miller’s room in 5th and Miss Carter’s room room in 6th.

At A-P Mr. Loudy was the first teacher I contacted after I had been released from Crippled Children’s Hospital in Memphis only a few days before the end of summer vacation. And who could forget Mrs Ridgeway’s famous line about “You know, when you can’t take anymore or learn amymore or do anymore learning, you can always yell “Calfrope” and we’ll cut you loose. “Calfrope!”

At Grove we were the last freshman class before they opened Grove Junior High on the side of the hill behind the real high school. I remember feeling kind of embarrassed at having to take 9th grade civics in the 10th grade which meant going back to mix with the underclasses once a day in Miz Montgomery’s classroom. But I surely did like how Miz Montgomery kept heaping praise on me for being so smart – I didn’t think so, but I still loved to hear it!

Or the day in my sophomore year when I missed half a day because I’d run away from home the night before with my friend Larry. We walked all the way to my brother’s house out on the Old Paris and Murray Road – 8 miles is what it was. Boy, was I embarrassed at being treated like a kid even if I might have deserved it. Oh, yea, ran away because my grandmother forbade me to ride a bicycle; she’s afraid I would hurt myself after I rammed Larry’s bike into the fork of the locust tree in our front yard.

Speech tournaments with my partner Bob Lee and birthdate mate. I still think of him as my speech partner.

How Miz Ruby got me a job at WTPR my senior year, a job that turned into my life’s work, mostly and as challenging as I could have hoped for. She even put in a good word with Henry County Clerk Harold Jackson who put me to work for five bucks a day stamping his signature on automobile license application forms. I earned money to pay for speech trips, ‘y dogies!

Stay tuned.

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Thank goodness for pictures to remind us as those memory cells continue to fall by the wayside, one at a time.

Who's looking at whom?

And for the photographers who helped us out so well.

Written by frankieleeee

June 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Button, Button, Where’s the last one, that rapscallion, Wailani’s final Button that can finally rescue us from the mischievous gods of Australia.

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The quartet of misfits and has-beens met quietly for lunch in Mount Orab, Ohio, to organize and develop plans for their quest for “the button.” Each had pledged fealty to the pursuit, which was, in truth, the quest for meaning in each of their own lives each of which had fallen to the caprice of the gods in Melbourne, Australia, one at a time over the past several decades. While each had improvised and advanced far on a far different plane in the interim, all longed for the glory and the gladness that would have been theirs had the gods not interfered. That the Aussies had shake  with laughter as they worked their ingenious evil machinations on our quartet, compounded their resolve for revenge.

Find the button.

Look carefully at Wailani's neck and you will see that the top button on her dress is missing. That button is the quartet's only hope to return their lives to any semblance of normalcy, else we are all doomed to die, slowly, painfully, roasted over a spit of self-pity and failure created by the ancient gods of Australia. Kekona, whose working disguise is waiter in a Mexican restaurant in a small town in the Midwest, has agreed to join our quest for the button. I (extreme right), Koa, am most anxious to return to even a smattering of failed dreams over the past 61 years.

 

Wailani (heavenly water)willie

Koa – “Warrior; the koa tree fle

ko·a/ˈkōə/

Noun: A large Hawaiian forest tree (Acacia koa) of the pea family that yields dark red timber

Lopaka – Hawaiian form of Robert. (6m) bob

Pilialoha – “Beloved companion” (1f,1m)cb

kekona (leeward wind) waiter at Mi Camino Real

Written by frankieleeee

June 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Mid-Michigan Reels under the awesome load of heavyweight Scrabble (copyright til you die) playing Saturday, June 2, 2011. Survivors are nursing bruises, contusions and damaged egos today!

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22 of us headed for the Delhi Township Library Saturday and 7 games of Scrabble. Chuck (Armstrong) went undefeated in the elitist group; his feat hardly touched the ground as he bounded lightly and gaily to his waiting car. Elaine Glowniak barely beat out CB for 1st in 2nd group. She was just plain happy to be there and to beat up on all of us pretenders (including a plus-500 game against me). I don’t know who landed on top of division 3; I do know that Joanne Grow, who was forced to play when Janet Gray had to withdraw, finished 2nd.

Miki Sutherland cleaned my clock first game - so much for my plans for an undefeated day (Well, I HAD done it on Thursday at Lunchbunch).

Who says you can't have fun and play Scrabble (copyright til you die) at the same time? Certainly, not Linda Hoggatt.

Jim Peters protege Jan Stuart, Grand Rapids, was most cordial and a delight to play.

CB and Elaine Glowniak trading hair (har?) secrets during the lunch break which was long enough for 3 generations of bedbugs to be born, live and die of old age.

Joanne Grow made the Lansing tournament happen. She and I have been playing each other for 26 years.

Tom, the library guy, seemed to be a tad insane: he likes Scrabble (copyright til you die) players.

Carolyn Kribs, another member of the old "gang" from the Lansing Club of two decades ago.

Doris Munro and Carolyn Kribs fighting tooth and nails, dripping sweat all over the Scrabbleboard between them. Doris was in the backseat behind (the late) Sara Lackey and me years ago on the way to her very first tournament in Atlantic City NJ, when the old blue bomb skidded off the ice-covered freeway in Pennsylvania, causing us to land in a ditch! She also used to direct the Lansing tournament.

Jeff Clark & Carol Ravichandran, both Scrabble (copyright til you die) tournament directors, occasionally get a chance to throw razor-sharp words at each other.

Players gather around Chuck Armstrong and Jeff Fizsbein's table after the last game of the day to discuss triumphs and screw ups of the day.

Cheryl Melvin, CB, Danny and I went out for some of the very best Mexican pork mole verdie I've ever eaten after the tournament.

Danny Schey beat me by the skin of his teeth and crushed my spirit for five long minutes for so. At Los Three Amigos we refreshed our Scrabble (copyright til you die) buttons.

For CB, it's always one more thing before the sandman strikes, to make it possible for me to go where I can bark and complain and enjoy hell out of my life sometimes.

Lansing is always a fun tournament. Gier Recreation Center was the site of my very first tournament in November of 1985! Dang dang dang! Doesn’t seem like that long ago!

Ready now to party with the kids today before the homeward jaunt.

Written by frankieleeee

June 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Yes, We WERE Here once, but NOT really! (Lunchbunch June 2, 2011. Meadowlark, Far Hills Avenue, Kettering, OH)

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What a happy bunch of campers. Not one grouch in the group until we started playing Scrabble which was a whole 'nother story and, even with Scrabble I wasn't a grouch (for a change - hehe).

Wee-Willie won the game of word maizes this week. She chose Meadowlark Restaurant in Kettering. But we’d been to the Meadowlark, hadn’t we? Yes but this wasn’t it, was it? No, this was the Madison Bistro then, before the tawdry tale of no liquor license reared it’s yellow journalistic head. But we were at the Meadowlark, weren’t we? Yes, but that was when it was over yonder; it done outgrew what it was!

Everything was confusing EXCEPT the palate.

Still, Wiley, although excellent the first time, upped the food on the yummy scale half a dozen points this week. We agreed, all of us and who woulda thought that ? – the cheese sandwich was the best we had ever eaten and that was without the swipe of wine on top. Bob loved his portabella sandwich again. We all dug the fried green tomato sandwich. Nothing got a failing grade and that’s unusual .. extremely unusual for the Lunchbunch.

Written by frankieleeee

June 5, 2011 at 11:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized